Even with the international community facing difficult challenges, the Cannes Film Festival remains one the world’s most prestigious film festivals, an event where the best in international filmmaking and traditional Hollywood glamour coming shining through.
In a very challenging year for filmmaking, the jury at the 63rd Festival de Cannes bestowed its Palme d’Or on the strongest movie in the competition, a low budget, part-Buddhist part-animist fantasy by the 39-year-old Thai director whose fans call him â€œJoe.â€ The Jury president named Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives as the winner of the coveted Palm d’Or Grand Jury Prize.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s film traces the dreamlike final days of a man dying of kidney failure as the ghost of his dead wife returns to tend him and his long-lost son comes home in the form of a furry jungle spirit.
The festival got off to a big start, with Hollywood’s big budget reinvention of Robin Hood opening the festival, with Russell Crowe hoping to turn the English folk hero’s adventures into a blockbuster franchise. The film, dubbed â€œGladiator in Sherwood Forestâ€ because it reunites the actor-director team of Crowe and Ridley Scott, co-stars Cate Blanchett as Marian.
Other well-received films include the runner-up Grand Prix prize-winner, French director Xavier Beauvois’s well-received Of Gods and Men, an understated docudrama about a group of French monks taken hostage by Algerian terrorists. An early favorite, Juliette Binoche was named best actress for her role in Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy. In a political departure, she used her acceptance speech to bring attention to the plight of jailed Iranian director Jafar Panahi, who was on a hunger strike and has since been released. The prize for best actor was split between Javier Bardem, star of Alejandro GonzÃ¡lez IÃ±Ã¡rritu’s Biutiful and Elio Germano, who appeared in Italian director Daniele Luchetti’s La Nostra Vita.
In a relatively low key year for film, celebrities played a big part in bringing pizzazz to the glamorous event, beautiful actresses wearing gorgeous gowns at the trÃ¨s formal red carpet premieres and sexy soirees. In 2010, fashion A-listers included Kate Beckinsale wearing a Marchesa gown, Salma Hayek modeling a maroon Gucci creation, Naomi Watts in a strapless pleated pink Gucci gown, Jennifer Lopez in a gray Gucci frock, Cate Blanchett wearing a gown by the late Alexander McQueen and Eva Longoria in a white silk Pucci. Adding a little more sizzle, Pamela Anderson was spotted on a huge yacht before promoting her new film, Blonde and Blonder. One of Hollywood’s enduring male stars, Michael Douglas, was also on hand to promote his role as Gordon Gekko in 20th Century Fox’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.